Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Lion and Mouse by Catalina Echeverri (Jonathan Cape Ltd)

We love it when books fizz with energy, and Catalina Echeverri's debut for Jonathan Cape, "Lion and Mouse" does exactly that.

Taking a fairly well known story and adding a few twists and turns here and there, Catalina has produced a rather beautiful book underpinned with the strong message about how valuable a friendship can be, and how sometimes taking someone for granted is part of the ebb and flow.

Mouse is a rather timid little fellow as you might expect. His best friend Lion, however, is loud and confident and very self-assured. Mouse feels like he's constantly living in the shadow of Lion's brash and outspoken behaviour and decides one day to disappear.

Despite own Lion's claims that he is amazing, brave, fearless and strong, Lion has a secret. There is something Lion is scared of - The dark!

So when darkness comes, who does Lion need by his side the most? Mouse of course!

Catalina's illustrative style lends the book its frenetic energy, and Charlotte rather liked the pace of the story. There are great opportunities for characterisation as you can read the book together, being as loud as Lion and then as quiet and timid as mouse. It's a brilliant book for early readers as the flow of text and the story is easy to follow despite the fairly quick pace.

We look forward to seeing more from Catalina, this is a brilliant debut.

Charlotte's best bit: Lion in the darkness, very scary!

Daddy's favourite bit: A neat little moral tale, not preachy or too in your face - and Mouse is a little darling really, despite Lion's rather rubbish behaviour towards him early in the book.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Jonathan Cape PB Ltd)